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Friday, October 31, 2008

Gautam Gambhir to appeal against ban

Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has decided to appeal against the one-Test ban imposed on him for deliberately elbowing Australian all-rounder Shane Watson during the ongoing third Test match. Both Gambhir and Watson were found guilty of conduct contrary to the spirit of cricket by match referee Chris Broad during the hearing. The Australian player was fined 10 per cent of his match fee on Thursday for having a verbal duel with Gambhir, while the Indian was handed a one-match ban for a Level 2 Offence as per the ICC Code of conduct, this morning. "For Level 2 offences, the concerned players have the right to appeal against the adjudicator's decision within 24 hours of notification of the decision. Accordingly, Mr. Gambhir will be lodging an appeal," BCCI secretary N Srinivasan, said. The ban rules the Indian opener out of the fourth and the final Test match of the series, to be played in Nagpur. "India opener Gautam Gambhir has received a one Test ban after being found guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the third Test against Australia in New Delhi," the ICC said in a statement. Gambhir had elbowed Watson while taking a run on the opening day of the ongoing Test match after a heated exchange with the Aussie all-rounder. The Indian met match referee Chris Broad this morning before the start of third day's play where he was informed of the penalty. "The decision to fine Gambhir guilty of a level 2 offence is indicative of the fact that any degree of physical contact is unacceptable," Broad said. The hearing had been adjourned last evening to allow the match referee to review the evidence. The opener pleaded guilty to a charge under Rule C1 of the Code (Level 2) which states that "players shall at all times conduct play within the spirit of the game." Watson was found guilty of "verbally engaging" with Gambhir "in a manner that was not in keeping with the Spirit of Cricket" and fined 10 per cent of his match fee on Thursday. Broad said Gambhir could have been charged under a stronger code according to the rules, but he decided on a lighter sentence as umpires Billy Bowden and Aleem Dar had highlighted the provocation by Watson. "Had Gambhir been charged with and found guilty of a charge under 2.4, due to his previous offence, I would have been obliged to impose a minimum penalty of a two-Test match ban. In the view of the umpires, the facts of this case - the lightness of the physical conduct and the element of provocation - would not justify such a penalty," he added. Broad said Gambhir's punishment was decided after taking into account his past disciplinary record. "The ICC has repeatedly told the players that deliberate physical contact between players will not be tolerated. I have also taken into account the previous offences of Gambhir and therefore, I am satisfied that the penalty imposed is an appropriate outcome in the circumstances of this matter. I hope Mr Gambhir will learn from this," he said. Present at the hearing was Gambhir himself, Broad, umpires Bowden and Dar, third umpire Suresh Shastri and fourth umpire Sameer Bandekar, India coach Gary Kirsten and captain Anil Kumble. The penalty for a Level 2 offence is a fine of between 50 and 100 per cent of the player's match fee or a maximum ban of one Test match or two ODIs.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

India romp to historic win over Australia

India completed a crushing victory over Australia by a record margin of 320 runs in the second Test on Tuesday to seize a 1-0 lead in the four -match series.

Left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan grabbed three wickets in four balls and Australia, chasing an improbable victory target of 516 runs, were dismissed for 195 before lunch. It was only Australia's second defeat in 28 Tests since their 2-1 loss in the 2005 Ashes series against England.

Both reverses have come against India. "We were outplayed," Australia captain Ricky Ponting said. "In batting, bowling and probably in fielding as well."

It was India's biggest ever Test win by runs, bettering their 280-run success over South Africa in Kanpur in 1996. Khan struck in the first over to dismiss Brad Haddin and snuff out any slim Australian hopes of salvaging a draw.

Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke top-scored with 69 before being the last man out, pulling leg spinner Amit Mishra to mid-wicket. Mishra finished with a match haul of seven for 106 after claiming five wickets in the first innings on his Test debut.

An off-colour Australia, reduced to 141 for five overnight, subsided against pace and spin on a slow Mohali pitch. Khan struck his first blow when he bowled Haddin on his overnight score of 37 with a perfect off-stump yorker.

In the next over, he forced Cameron White (1) to edge a drive to give wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni a low catch and he bowled Brett Lee first ball to be on a hat-trick.

Clarke, who added 84 runs for the sixth wicket with Haddin, put on another 50 for the ninth with Mitchell Johnson (26) before Mishra had the tail-ender caught and bowled.

Harbhajan Singh took five wickets in the match to leave himself one short of becoming the third Indian bowler to claim 300 Test wickets.

Sachin Tendulkar claimed the world record for most Test runs and Sourav Ganguly struck 102 in his farewell series to help India amass 469 in their first innings. The first Test in Bangalore ended in a draw. The third Test starts in New Delhi on October 29.

Some interesting facts

What a memorable Test match this has been, Sachin Tendulkar became the highest run scorer and the first batsman to reach 12000 runs in Test cricket.

Sourav Ganguly became the fourth Indian to score 7000 Test runs before notching up his 16th Test century. Amit Mishra became the sixth Indian to take five wickets on Test debut.

Dhoni became only the third wicket-keeper batsman and captain to make half-centuries in both the innings of a Test.

Gautam Gambhir got his first Test century in India. And of course India registering their biggest Test match victory ever in terms of runs and it tastes sweeter as it has come against Australia.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Australia 141/5 at stumps on Day 4, need 375 runs

Indians claimed five crucial wickets, as Australia required another 375 runs for victory on Day five of the second Test. Michael Clarke anHarbhajan Singh reacts after dismissing Australian Matthew Hayden on the fourth day of the second Test in Mohali on Monday. d Brad Haddin denied India any more breakthroughs after Harbhajan Singh and Ishant Sharma reduced Australia to 58/5.

At stumps on Day four, Australia, chasing a mammoth victory target of 516 runs, were reeling at 141/5 with Clarke (42) and Haddin (37) at the crease. Both have added 83 runs for the sixth wicket.
Both Clarke and Haddin have played the Indian spinners well, mixing caution with aggression and have also used their feet well not only when they have charged down the pitch but also they needed to go back on the backfoot.
Lanky pacer Ishant Sharma joined the party with off-spinner Harbhajan Singh as he produced a gem of a delivery to send back Shane Watson to pavilion after contributing just two runs. Ishant's scorcher trapped Watson in front of the wicket to reduce Australia to 58/5.
Harbhajan had a great tea as he came back to dismiss Michael Hussey for one. Hussey tried to pull the delivery that stayed low and was trapped plumb in front of the wicket.
Ishant ably supported Harbhajan as he cleaned up Ricky Ponting (2) in the very next over to leave Australia in tatters.
Ishant's came up with a superb delivery that came in sharply and went through the gap between bat and pad of the Australian captain. This is the fifth time that Ishant has dismissed Ponting in as many innings.
Harbhajan Singh claimed two wickets before tea in one over to rock Australia on the fourth day of the second Test against India in Mohali. Australia, chasing a mammoth victory target of 516 runs, got off to an excellent start as openers Matthew Hayden and Simon Katich scored at more than six runs per over.
Both Hayden and Katich carted the Indian bowlers to all parts of the ground with Zaheer conceding 32 runs in his eight overs and Ishant Sharma giving away 17 runs off his three. That forced captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to bring Harbhajan in the attack, who struck on his second ball of his first over as Hayden (29) tried to sweep but was trapped plumb in front of the wicket.
Harbhajan struck again on the last delivery of the same over when Katich (20) edged to backward point where Sachin Tendulkar dived forward to take an excellent catch. At tea, Australia were 50/2 needing 466 more runs to win.
Earlier, India declared with a lead of 515 runs leaving Australia with a victory target of 516 runs on the fourth day of the second Test against Australia. India declared their second innings at 314/3 with Dhoni (68) and Sachin Tendulkar (10) remaining not out.
Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly carried on from where Gambhir and Sehwag had left and added 66 runs for the third wicket.
Dhoni hit his 11th Test fifty off just 61 balls and became only the third wicket-keeper batsman and captain to make half-centuries in both the innings of a Test. The first two are joined Andy Flower and Tatenda Taibu.
Dhoni, who came up the order at number three, hit three fours and a six in his knock, while Sachin hit one four.
Ganguly got out while trying to up the ante and mistimed a hit off Brett Lee high up in the air for Michael Clarke to take the catch in the covers. Ganguly hit two fours in his 37-ball knock 27.
Indian opener Gautam Gambhir slammed his second Test century as India extended their lead to 431 runs against Australia at lunch on the fourth day of the second Test in Mohali.
Gambhir completed his century shortly before lunch by flicking a full toss from Cameron White to the mid-wicket fence. But soon after, Gambhir (104) mistimed a hit to mid-off for Michael Hussey to take a simple catch.
Sourav Ganguly was promoted up the order perhaps to keep the right-left combination running. At lunch, India were 230/2 with Mahendra Singh Dhoni (26) and Ganguly (3) at the crease.
Sehwag missed his century as he edged a leg-cutter by Peter Siddle to keeper Brad Haddin for the catch. Sehwag failed to build on the birthday gift that he received by umpire Asad Rauf who gave him not out when edged a Mitchell Johnson delivery to Haddin on 88.
Sehwag and Gambhir continued to inflict misery on Australia after India started the fourth day's play of the second Test in Mohali holding the advantage having a second innings lead of 301 runs with ten wickets in hand.
Sehwag and Gambhir, who gave India a superb start on Day three hitting 100 runs resumed the second innings with one expecting India to pile on the runs quickly and declare with enough time on their hands to bowl out Australia and clinch victory.
Though he was tentative in the beginning, Gambhir soon regained his touch and reached his eighth Test fifty.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting was defensive from the word go and had fielders guarding the boundaries. But that didn't stop Sehwag from keeping the scorecard ticking as he was either hitting over the top or taking quick singles keeping the Aussies on tenterhooks. The Delhi opening pair took the Indian lead over 350 runs at a brisk run rate of over four and a half runs per over.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Congratulate Sachin Tendulkar

The long wait is over. Sachin Tendulkar is now Test cricket's highest run scorer.
At 1431 IST, on a sunny Friday afternoon in Mohali, the Mumbai batsman scripted his name in cricketing history, bettering Brian Lara's record of 11,953 runs, in his 152nd Test, before a small but appreciative crowd that applauded every run that took him closer to the landmark.

He achieved this landmark when he hit Peter Siddle to third man for two runs, erasing Lara's record that stood for nearly two years since the West Indian great played his final Test.
Fireworks, congratulations from every member of the Australian team, a hug from fellow-batsman Sourav Ganguly and a long look into the sky by the ace batsman, and the moment had come, and gone.
Tendulkar is also one-day cricket's leading run-scorer, with 16,631 runs.
The master blaster was expected to attain the feat in Sri Lanka recently, but he had a poor series there, scoring just 95 runs in three Tests.
However, it was befitting, that he achieved the record against World champions Australia.
Lara too achieved the world record against Australia, when he went past Allan Border's tally of 11,174 runs during the Adelaide Test in 2005.
They are the only three players to cross the 11,000-run mark in Tests. Now two players stand the best chance of bettering Tendulkar's record. They are Rahul Dravid (10,341 runs) and Ricky Ponting (10,239).
Fifteen runs was Tendulkar's first target when he came out to bat on Friday afternoon after the fall of Rahul Dravid's wicket, in the second Test against Australia, and each of them was counted down.
A single, a steered brace, a flick to leg, a straight push, a cover-driven four that upped the glacial pace of scoring and then a flicked two brought him within a stroke of Lara's aggregate.
Another single to square carried the batsman into double figures. Three runs later, it was time for the tea break.
The suspense thereafter was swift to end; a steered three off debutant Siddle took Tendulkar from 11,951 to 11,954, and gave him sole ownership of the title of Test cricket's highest run-scorer.
This was Tendulkar's 152nd Test, and 247th innings, which includes a highest of 248 not out.
Against this, Lara got his runs in 131 matches (232 innings) with a Test best of 400 not out. Tendulkar's average now is 54.02 against Lara's career mean of 52.88. What a record!

Kumble, Ganguly, Dravid hail Tendulkar's feat as phenomenal

Test skipper Anil Kumble and senior players Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly on Friday hailed Sachin Tendulkar as a "phenomenal player" after the master batsman became Test cricket's highest run-getter.
"It is a great effort for him and a great honour for all of us. It is a great moment for Indian cricket and I am happy that I have seen most of these 12,000 runs being scored by him from the dressing room," Kumble said while congratulating Tendulkar on his historic feat.
Ganguly, who will retire from the game after the four-match Test series against Australia, was fulsome on his praise of Tendulkar with whom he shared the dressing room for the last 13 years.
"It is a fantastic achievement, kudos to him. He is a phenomenal player. It has been a great honour to share dressing room with him for the last 13 years," Ganguly said.
Dravid hailed Tendulkar as a "great champion" who truely deserved the feat.
"It is a phenomenal achievement. He is a great champion and his achievement is truely well deserved," Dravid said.

Tendulkar breaks Lara's record, crosses 12000-run mark

Sachin Tendulkar became the highest scorer in Test cricket after surpassing West Indian legend Brian Lara in the ongoing second Test in MoSachin Tendulkar in action during the second Test against Australia at the Mohali Stadium.
After breaking Lara’s record, Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman to reach 12000-run mark in Test cricket.
The Master Blaster needed just 15 runs today to overtake Lara's Test match tally of 11,953 runs and establishing a fourth world record in his illustrious career.
The 35-year-old batting maestro is already the world's top-scorer in One-Day International (16,361) and has the most centuries in Test matches (39) and One-dayers (42).
The Mumbaikar came close to surpass Lara's milestone in the drawn first Test in Bangalore but he fell short of just 15 runs after playing a gritty knock of 49 runs in the second innings to help India seal a draw.
Sachin made his Test debut at the tender age of 16 against Pakistan in 1989 in Karachi. From there on the little master of world cricket has never looked back.
The Mumbaikar came into limelight with his first Test century on a seaming Old Trafford track against a formidable English attack as he saved the match for India.
Tendulkar still remains the most admired cricketer from all quarters the world ranging from experts to cricket ardent fans despite not being in his best of form off late.
The body of the master blaster has taken its toll as he has been playing international cricket to close to two decades. Though several injuries marred his playing career time and again during the last five years but his never-say-die attitude still makes him the heartthrob of cricketing world. Congratulate Sachin Tendulkar.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Zealand beat Bangladesh to clinch three-match series

Ross Taylor hit a fighting hundred to help New Zealand beat Bangladesh by 79 runs in the third and final One-Day International on Tuesday for a 2-1 win in the three-match series. The 24-year-old Taylor, who scored 103 for his third One-day century, carried New Zealand to a decent 249-7 in 50 overs before the visitors restricted Bangladesh to 170-8. Bangladesh were seeking their first series win over a major Test playing country before a 14,000 capacity crowd at the Divisional Stadium, but it was the tourists who took the honours. Only Tamim Iqbal (35) batted with some authority for the hosts as paceman Kyle Mills initiated the slump by removing opener Zunaed Siddique (one) before Jacob Oram dismissed debutant Imrul Kayes (12) and skipper Mohammad Ashraful (eight) in his incisive five-over first spell. Off-spinner Jeetan Patel then took over, dismissing dangerous-looking local boy Iqbal and then accounting for Shakib Al Hasan (one) to end all hopes of Bangladesh successfully chasing the target. From 98-7, Naeem Islam (46 not out) and Abdur Razzak (28) gave the score some respectability but it only delayed the inevitable. Earlier, it was Taylor who was the hero for New Zealand after the visitors won the toss and batted. The tall right-hander put on 125 runs for the third wicket with Jamie How (73) to rescue New Zealand from the early loss of openers Jesse Ryder (three) and Brendon McCullum (six). Taylor hit five fours and four towering sixes in his 119-ball knock, finally falling in the 47th over, caught behind off paceman Mashrafe Mortaza's full toss. How provided valuable support, hitting ten boundaries in his 82-ball innings -- his seventh half-century in One-day cricket -- before he was adjudged leg before wicket to off-spinner Islam. Jacob Oram, who scored 57 and 75 not out in the first two matches, was caught at deep mid-wicket for just three, while Scott Styris fell for 12 but Taylor continued the good work. Skipper Daniel Vettori (19) and Kyle Mills (18) remained not out. New Zealand now play Bangladesh in the first of two Tests starting in Chittagong from Friday. The second Test starts in Dhaka from October 25. SCOREBOARD New Zealand innings J.Ryder b Syed Rasel 3 B.McCullum lbw Mashrafe Mortaza 6 J.How lbw Naeem Islam 73 R.Taylor c Mushfiqur Rahim b Mashrafe Mortaza 103 S.Styris lbw Shakib Al Hasan 12 J.Oram c Tamim Iqbal b Shakib Al Hasan 3 D.Flynn c Naeem Islam b Abdur Razzak 5 D.Vettori not out 19 K.Mills not out 18 Extras: 7 (lb-4 w-3) Total: 249 for seven wickets in 50 overs Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-13, 3-138, 4-172, 5-179, 6-201 and 7-219 Did not bat: Jeetan Patel and Tim Southee Bowling: Mashrafe Mortaza 10-2-50-2 Syed Rasel 10-0-40-1 Abdur Razzak 10-0-52-1 Shakib Al Hasan 10-0-41-2 Naeem Islam 8-0-50-1 (w1) Shahadat Hossain 2-0-12-0 (w2) Bangladesh innings Tamim Iqbal c McCullum b Patel 35 Zunaed Siddique c Ryder b Mills 1 Imrul Kayes c McCullum b Oram 12 Mohammad Ashraful b Oram 8 Shakib Al Hasan c Ryder b Patel 1 Naeem Islam not out 46 Mushfiqur Rahim c How b Southee 15 Mashrafe Mortaza c McCullum b Mills 9 Abdur Razzak c McCullum b Ryder 27 Shahadat Hossain not out 12 Extras: 4(w4) Total: 170 for eight wickets Did not bat: Syed Rasel Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-49, 3-49, 4-57, 5-59, 6-77, 7-98 and 8-144 Bowling: Mills 8-1-24-2 Southee 10-0-40-1 (3w) Patel 10-3-29-2 Oram 8-2-16-2 Vettori 10-0-39-0 (1w) Ryder 3-0-16-1 Flynn 1-0-6-0

Jayasuriya, Mendis lead Lanka to Toronto T20 title victory

Veteran Sanath Jayasuriya, with his trademark big-hitting, and new-boy Ajantha Mendis, delving into his bag of bewildering spin tricks, led Sri Lanka to a five-wicket victory over Pakistan in the Canada Twenty20 final on Monday. Chasing 133 to win, Sri Lanka registered their first win over Pakistan in the new-style, wham-bang format with six balls to spare. He may be pushing 40 years old but Jayasuriya (40 runs) showed little sign of ageing as he and fellow opener Mahela Udawatte (25) put on 66 in 6.6 overs. They took advantage off a wayward Pakistan attack with Shoaib Akhtar, Sohail Tanvir and Umar Gul being hit to all parts of the ground in front of 9,000 fans at King City. Jayasuriya was particularly harsh on Akhtar, flicking the recalled quick for four in his first over and then pulling him for consecutive sixes over midwicket. Desperate Pakistan, who had won the group match between the two sides by three wickets on Saturday, turned to spin and Shahid Afridi dismissed Udawatte while Shoaib Malik accounted for Jayasuriya. But despite losing skipper Mahela Jayawardene for just five, Kaushalya Weeraratne (12) and Chamara Kapugedera (17 not out) saw Sri Lanka home. Earlier Mendis, 16 years Jayasuriya's junior, took 3-23 for a tournament total of 11 wickets as he put the brakes on the Pakistan middle order. Opener Salman Butt top scored with 44 before he fell to Mendis who also accounted for Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal. Zimbabwe trounced Canada by 109 runs to claim third place. Zimbabwe had needed a bowl-out to beat the hosts in the group stage on Saturday but there was no repeat of that drama this time as the African side piled up 184-5, the highest score of the tournament. Opener Hamilton Masakadza smashed 79 with useful contributions coming from Chamu Chibhabha (40), Elton Chigumbura (25) and Keith Dabengwa (16 not out). Masakadza had made a brave 53 in his side's seven-wicket loss to Pakistan on Saturday and he was in brutal form again on Monday smashing two giant sixes off Abdool Samad. Canada were immediately in trouble slipping to 10-3 by the sixth over as captain Ashif Mulla (2), Rizwan Cheema (2) and Sandeep Jyoti (0) all failed. Canada just managed to avoid the lowest Twenty20 score of all time -Kenya's 67 against Ireland in August - as they were skittled out for 75 with Zimbabwe's 23-year-old captain Prosper Utseya taking 3 for 26 with his off-breaks.

Australian media slams Ganguly for delaying tactics in 'farcical draw'

Intentionally or inadvertently, Sourav Ganguly continues to rub Australians the wrong way and the media here poured vitriol on the former
India skipper, accusing him of indulging in delaying tactics to ensure the Bangalore Test ended in a draw. The popular belief here is that Australia were destined to win the Bangalore Test but the existing light rule, coupled with Ganguly's delaying tactics, denied Ricky Ponting's men victory in the first of the four-match Test series. A member of the 'National Nine News' sports team took a potshot at anyone and everyone but was particularly harsh on Ganguly, whom he described as a "serial offender". "Serial offender Sourav Ganguly firstly persuaded the umpires to go off. Then when play resumed, Ganguly made Australia's fielders and partner VVS Laxman wait an eternity because he'd apparently 'forgotten to put his thigh pad on'. "Please! Can't you be timed out in this game?" he wrote. According to him, the spectators were the obvious losers in the entire exercise. "The players got something out of it. Pedantic officials got their moment of the glory. But billions of fans and more importantly -- the game itself -- got nothing out of this farcical finish in Bangalore," he remarked. Criticising umpire Asad Rauf and Rudy Koertzen, the writer said, "With the match in the balance, a crucial hour's play on the final day was lost, with not one, but two stoppages for bad light -- when at times the sun was shining! "Umpires strutted about like Emperor Penguins, holding out their light metres -- a device that like performance enhancing drugs should be banned." Asserting that such finishes would do no good to the game, he went on to say, "If Test cricket continues to produce farcical finishes like this one in Bangalore, this great game's Bradmans, Gavaskars, Tendulkars and Pontings will also be soon forgotten... Even by their mothers-in-law!" Meanwhile, a 'Fox Sports' cricket commentator went on to demand amendments in International Cricket Council's existing light rules. "I thought the light was fine and they really need to change the rules regarding that aspect of the game," he said. "There has to be some pressure placed on the ICC over this as there was no danger at all out there. I'm standing out here half an hour after play has finished, and while it's getting a bit dark now, it was fine half an hour ago and they first came off several hours ago. People come to the ground to watch Test cricket and the light was pretty good and not dangerous at all," he asserted. 'Fox Sports' also invited readers to comment whether poor light should be allowed to influence the outcome of a game and whether India played the match in the right spirit.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sourav Ganguly to retire after Australia series

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly said on Tuesday that he would retire from international cricket at the end of the upcoming four-Test Series
Sourav Ganguly gestures during the fourth day of the third Test match against Pakistan in Bangalore.
More Picturest series against Australia. I have decided to quit and told my teammates about it. Australia series will be my last series,” said Ganguly. Chairman of selectors K Srikkanth said Ganguly had made the right decision. “Ganguly wanted to play with a free mind and now he can,” said Srikkanth. Player Profile: Saurav Ganguly India’s most successful captain dismissed suggestions that his inclusion in India's 15-member squad for the first two Tests against Australia was part of a compromise formula to give him the opportunity to retire gracefully. Asked specifically if the selectors had made a compromise with his selection in the team, Ganguly quipped 'absolutely not'.
Matches Runs Ave S.R 100 50 ct
311 11363 41.02 73.71 22 72 100
TEST 109 6861 41.84 52.38 15 34 71
Ganguly's floundering Test career received a big boost when the newly-appointed selection panel headed by Krishnamachari Srikkanth named him in the squad for the first two Tests against Australia beginning October 9. The former captain reckoned the series against the Australians will be tough and said he was prepared for the challenge. "It will be a tough series. We will have to fight it hard", he said at the Eden Gardens. Ganguly's career was at crossroads after he was ignored by the previous selection panel, with Dilip Vengsarkar at the helm, for the season-opening Irani Cup tie, touted as a virtual selection trial, at Vadodara late last month. However, a change of guard with the complete overhaul of the selection panel saw the return of Ganguly and he seems certain to play the series opener at Bangalore barring injury. The former Indian captain also met Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) President Jagmohan Dalmiya during the day. It was his first meeting with Dalmiya since he was re-elected to the post. Skipper Kumble over retirement issue Test skipper Anil Kumble had rubbished reports that the Indian cricket board had drawn up a retirement plan for senior players. "We have never discussed that among ourselves. All the talk is only in the media," Kumble said. Justifying the selection of former captain Sourav Ganguly for the upcoming series against Australia, Kumble said the senior players have never performed badly and it was only the media that was casting doubts on their performance after one bad series in Sri Lanka. Kumble said there should have been no debate over Ganguly's inclusion since he was part of the Test team. "He was a part of the last Test series as well. I don't see a change. Age does not matter at all as long as a player is doing well, otherwise I would have retired long ago." "I can't divulge what happened in the selection meeting, but I don't see any change: he was a part of the last Test team, he is a part of this series as well," Kumble contended. Shane Warne’s take on Ganguly Legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne describes Sourav Ganguly as "an intelligent bloke, with some interesting ideas on all sorts of subjects" in his self-written book and pays tribute to Sourav's batting, fighting qualities and self-confidence. Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, is among 11 Indians named by Warne in his list of 100 greatest cricketers. The list of greats, which forms a new book called "Shane Warne's Century", is headed by Sachin Tendulkar and includes all members of the famed Indian batting quartet dubbed the Fab Four - Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.

India Times

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sachin unveils 'Wall' to mark Dravid's 10,000 Test runs

Rahul Dravid's 10,000 Test runs were celebrated at Chinnaswamy stadium with Sachin Tendulkar unveiling a wall of 10,000 bricks. It was a wall of commitment, consistency and class written all over it to describe the former India skipper. Built by Bangalore-based realtor Skyline group, the Wall projects Dravid in metal statue playing his trademark cover-drive and features the legendary batsman's finest cricketing moments in both forms of cricket. Dravid is popularly considered to be 'the wall' of Indian batting for his impenetrable technique and diligence. Unveiling the Wall, Tendulkar said Dravid truly deserved such recognition and would remain a testimony for all his achievements. "It is a great credit to his family. More than a great cricketer and a great batsman, Rahul is a perfect gentleman on and off the field. The Wall will inspire every budding cricketer to emulate Rahul and his batting skills," Tendulkar said. A live electronic unit in the top corner on the right displays Dravid's current score -- 10,246 runs in Test cricket. The unit will keep ticking as Dravid scores runs in Tests played in India or overseas, Skyline group managing director Avinash Prabhu said at a simple ceremony, graced by former and present cricketers. Dravid is the brand ambassador for the Skyline group. His parents - Sharad and Pushpa - were present on the occasion. Located strategically outside the pavilion-end, the Wall is visible from the famous MG. Road in downtown and a few yards away from Kumble circle, christened after Indian Test skipper's 10-wicket haul in second Test against Pakistan in February 1999 in Delhi. "The Wall is a tribute to Dravid's legendary contribution to Indian cricket and his outstanding achievements on and off the field. The tall structure will be a new landmark in India's IT hub and serve as an immortal reminder of Dravid's great feats," Prabhu, a classmate of Dravid, said in his brief address on the occasion. In his remarks, Dravid said though he was humbled by the honour, he felt embarrassed to be present in the midst of legendary cricketers like Sachin, former off-spinner EAS. Prasanna, yesteryear spin bowler BS Chandrasekhar, former wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani and others. "For me the greatest thing is to play for the country and be in the company of a legendary cricketer who also scored over 10,000 plus runs. I am sure this Wall will inspire budding cricketers. I am also touched that the Wall is erected where I began my cricketing career," Dravid said amidst applause. Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) secretary and former Indian batsman Brijesh Patel said it was a momentous day for the Chinnaswamy stadium. "Dravid is ranked along with former legendary cricket Gundappa Vishwanath and former Indian badminton champion Prakash Padukone who also hail from Karnataka. By scoring 10,000 plus runs in both forms of cricket, Dravid is counted among the world's top six legendary batsmen, including Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Steve Waugh, Brian Lara and Allan Border," Patel said. Having watched Dravid from his younger days, Patel said the Bangalore-born lad was level-headed, intensely focused and good student of the game. "Dravid has an outstanding batting average in Test cricket. It is not for nothing he is considered the 'Wall' for his commitment, consistency and class," Patel said.